The Marlins system is one of the thinnest in baseball, but the team’s high Class A affiliate, the Jupiter Hammerheads, should be interesting to watch. When outfielder Christian Yelich joins the team (more on that below), the club will feature six of the the organization’s Top 10 prospects. Joining Yelich will be outfielder Marcell Ozuna, catcher J.T. Realmuto, lefthanders Chad James and Rob Rasmussen, as well as second baseman Noah Perio.
Leap Of Faith
Righthander Jose Fernanez, who was the team’s first-round pick last year, will start the season with low Class A Greensboro. Fernandez only pitched four innings after signing last year, so a full-season assignment is one of the most aggressive placements for an organization that was mostly conservative with its promotions.
Where Is That Guy?
Yelich, the team’s top prospect, got hit in the right elbow by a bat while he was in the on-deck circle in spring training and will miss the first week or two of the season. Yelich had a breakout campaign last year for Greensboro, hitting .312/.388/.484 with 15 home runs and 32 stolen bases, ranking as the No. 41 prospect on Baseball America’s Top 100 list.
Time Is Running Out
Catcher Kyle Skipworth will return to Double-A after hitting .207/.273/.331 over 106 games there last year. The Marlins have been quite patient with Skipworth, but four years into his pro career, the 2008 first-round pick is a career .220/.281/.365 hitter. Third baseman Matt Dominguez will continue to dazzle with his defense at Triple-A New Orleans. With Hanley Ramirez's move to third base, it appears that Dominguez will need a trade to ever become a big league regular.
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